by Mariah Haberman
(Madison, WI, USA)
Kevin N. Krumwiede, 36, of Brodhead
At 11:44 p.m. on July 28, 2007, Krumwiede’s pickup truck was headed west on County B near Footville when it entered the north ditch at West Mineral Point Road, left 462 feet of tire marks on the gravel. He over-corrected, crossed the westbound traffic lane and went into the eastbound lane, then over-corrected again, went back into the westbound lane, left 69 feet of skid marks, entered the ditch and went airborne. The vehicle overturned and Krumwiede was ejected.
This is what was published in Wisconsin newspapers. My story, however, was much different.
He was 37-years-young, a father of five and in the midst of a painful divorce. But perhaps the saddest component of Kevin’s death was that it could have so easily been prevented in the first place. And that is the sole reason why this blog exists.
Things had been going downhill in our household for a while. I grew up witnessing my mother and stepfather’s alcoholism worsen year after year. Assuming she felt bored with how marriage, or life in general, had turned out for her, Mom left Kevin during the fall of my freshman year of college. (“Did you hear I left Kevin?” was her question for me.)
I called my stepdad immediately after; Taking a late-night stroll around campus, I attempted to console him. The man I always knew as tough and very sure of himself had never sounded so sad and vulnerable. Although I was well aware Kevin regarded us kids so highly, he repeated throughout our conversation, “I will always be here for you kids.”
The night Kevin died was a hot summer night in July. A perfect night for a summer party. I
suppose rewinding with friends constituted the ideal way for Kevin to get his mind of his waning marriage. Leaving the party around 11 p.m., far too inebriated to be driving his pickup, Kevin was unsuccessful at handling a curve he must have driven thousands of times throughout his life. He died about a mile away from our home.
I received a phone call shortly after from a friend who said her mother had heard Kevin’s name on the police scanner. With another friend as my driver, we sped to the scene of the alleged accident where a carnival of red and blue lights shone. My heart fell to my stomach. Given the past string of chaotic events, I had strangely had this feeling that a family tragedy was impending. The police officers questioned me for what seemed like forever. But I soon got an answer when they informed me: “We’re sorry, Mariah, your stepfather is deceased.”
My last conversation with Kevin was a bitter one. I was so hurt by the fact that he was still attached to my mom. Not understanding his feelings and motives, we had a heated conversation in which I begged him to move on. But he didn’t and I’m convinced a combination of drunk driving stemming from a broken heart had killed him. Of course, a string of questions came to me as I wished there were a million things I would and could have said to him but my family and I can only talk to a headstone now.
In hopes to shed light on this dark issue, I have now published my blog, www.speakupmariah.wordpress.com. I encourage all to share stories, facts and comments there! Thank you for your support.